Artist of the Week

Jason Lazarus

November 23, 2010

Jason Lazarus received his MFA in Photography in 2003 and teaches at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  His work is currently being exhibited at Noble & Superior Projects in their show YOU ARE LOOKING AT ART ABOUT LOOKING AT ART.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I make photos, appropriate images/text, write impossible art ideas, and solicit images for ongoing archives.

How has living/working in your Chicago affected your art practice? Making work in Chicago has been fantastic, and it is here in Chicago i made images of Obama’s election night rally, William Eggleston outside of his own retrospective, Jesse Jackson in Daley Plaza, Calvin Johnson of the band Beat Happening, and a self portrait pouring gasoline down the front stairs of the MCA.  Also, this year I created a memorial procession on the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death that started in Gary, came to Chicago, and weaved its way throughout the city for five and a half hours…

How long have you lived in Chicago and what brought you here? In 1994 I moved here to attend Depaul University for a major in marketing.

What’s your absolute favorite place in the city to be? In Chicago: at Manny’s with a good friend.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? A new archive project I started in May, Too Hard to Keep asks for submissions of photographs that are “too painful to keep and have not yet been destroyed.”  There are upwards of 1000 images in the archive and it will keep growing…out of this I curate site-specific installations.  I’ll be making photographs/working in the studio over holiday break, as well as working on an exhibition I am curating next year on the theme of motivation, featuring over 30 artists and a number of bands as well!

What artists are you interested in right now? Ben Fain, Greg Stimac, Jennifer Allora/Guillermo Calzadilla, Shannon Ebner, Francis Alys, Joseph Grigley, Juan Chavez, Meredith Zielke & Yoni Goldstein, Thaddeus Kellstadt, Ben Foch, Paint FX, Brandon Alvendia, Brad Troemel

What do you do when you’re not working on art? Indoor gardening!!!

What were you like in high school? n-e-r-d 🙂

Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? I have a big solo exhibition in late February at Illinois State University Bloomington-Normal, featuring work from the past 7 years and new work as well…they are publishing a 72 page catalogue too which is very exciting—to see your work examined in context and in-depth over an arc of time…